SPOTLIGHT

How To Make The Most of Your Home Office

If you work from home occasionally, you will understand just how hard it can be to get motivated. If you are not used to it, it can be a very alien idea, and the getting distracted is all too easy. If you find yourself in this situation permanently, it is very beneficial to get yourself an office set up in your home. Although not everyone is going to have the luxury of having a separate room that can be used just for this, it is important to set up an area in your home that is your dedicated working and is different from the rest of your home. Try and make this replicate an office to get you in the working mind set. There are many ways to do this – below are just 10 ways to help get you started.

1) Keep it minimal

Think about a normal office situation. Unless you have a large office to yourself, the chances are you will just have a desk or a booth. You will not be able to fill your desk up with unnecessary items, so bear this in mind when planning your home office. Keep things minimal and essentials only. You will be surprised at what a difference this can make, and how much it will help your productivity levels.

2) Remove any distractions

Working from home requires a lot of self-discipline. It is a familiar environment and one that you relax in. because of this, it is all too tempting to work on the sofa in front of the television; when really, you need to remove any distractions. If you do not have a separate room in your home, set up your office area away from any televisions, or sofa’s. If anyone else is at home during the day, try and work away from them, so you cannot become distracted by them. It’s all about removing any tempting distractions to improve your productivity.

3) Invest in a good chair

Invest in a chair that is going to support your back, and one that you will be happy sitting in all day. If you have a chair that is of poor quality, not only will you get very bad backache over time, but you will be more tempted to leave your desk and go and sit elsewhere in your home, which can be counterproductive. Eliminate this possibility by investing in a high quality, supportive chair. Although it may cost a little bit more, it is very much worth it.

4) Establish set working hours

If you are used to working in an office environment, it is important to ensure that you try and replicate this as much as you can. This means ensuring that you have set working hours during the day just like you would if you had to travel into work. This gives your day a routine and you are not working the odd hour here and there to make up a working day. Have a set lunch hour that you stick to and ensure that anybody else in your homes knows what these hours. You will be amazed at how much more you get done.

5) Think about the colour

The colour of your office could have an effect on your productivity levels and it is important that you consider this when you are designing your space. Although this is of course all personal choice, some colours will evoke different emotions and feelings. Blues and greens are cool colours, and will make you feel relaxed…a little too relaxed. If you want to avoid snoozing on the job, steer clear of these colours in your office, and opt for a neutral green colour, or a grey, white or ivory. These will not distract you, and will enhance your working area.

6) Keep it organised

Having a tidy organised office is likely to boost your concentration level. The joy of having an office at home is that you can design it exactly how you would like it to look. Install different storage areas, such as cupboards and shelves to ensure that everything has its place. Try and keep surfaces, particularly your desk free from any unnecessary clutter. A clear desk equals a clear mind, which will automatically make you more responsive and focused.

7) Get some plants

Science has proven that plants boost productivity in a work environment. So add some office plants into your home office, to improve both the look and the performance within the office. Several studies have been carried out in large working environment and found that employees were happier and more productive when they have plants around their office. It also means that you can add a little personal touch to your office as well.

8) Make it personal

The beauty of having your office in your own home means you can design and decorate it how you want. You should adorn your office with personal things and items that you feel will motivate you. Why not add family photos, or a feature wall that will let your personality shine through. Be careful if you do do this one though, and put this wall behind you it does not have the opposite effect and actually makes you more distracted.

9) Lighting is important

When you are designing your office think carefully about the lighting, as this can significantly affect how productive you are. Ideally, if you can, situate your office near a natural light source. You are far more productive if you have a natural light source as it will only enhance the inside lighting. If you are relying on electric light, make sure that you do not place a light source directly behind your computer screen, as this will cause eye strain.

10) Keep it private

Treat your home office just like you would a normal one. Keep it private, and solely for work use. Make sure your family know that it is your working area and that it should remain that way. The more you familiarise yourself with your office area and become comfortable in there, you will stop being as productive. You wouldn’t just go into your workplace in the evening to have a cup of tea, so don’t do it in your home office.